The Joel Abromson Memorial Scholarship Fund
Each year EqualityMaine Foundation awards scholarships of $1,000 to college-bound high school seniors as part of our education and leadership development efforts. Since 1992 we have given more than $29,000 in scholarships to the next generation of Maine leaders.
We receive dozens of student essays each year, many of which bear witness to harassment and discrimination in our schools, and many of which offer fresh perspectives on the importance of equality for all. The Joel Abromson Memorial Scholarship program is proud to provide a forum for students to share their personal stories of crisis and courage, and to recognize these young champions of civil rights in a tangible way.
EqualityMaine's scholarship program also builds a bridge between students and Maine's LGBT community: we often attend our scholarship recipients' awards ceremonies at their high schools, and are able to present our awards alongside traditional high school service organizations such as the Sports Boosters, Lions Club and the D.A.R.
This award is named after the late state Senator Joel Abromson, a Republican from Portland who lost his battle with cancer in early 2002. Joel was a passionate champion for civil rights legislation, twice sponsoring bills that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. He unfortunately did not live long enough to see the enactment of the statewide non-discrimination law in 2005.